Obtaining Peace in the Midst of Chaos (By Shane Prewitt)

Life presents many different issues that compel us to worry. Add a pandemic to that equation and the stress levels can become unbearable for some.
And yet the Bible consistently tells us that we should not worry about the affairs surrounding our lives. One of the classic passages about worry is found in Philippians 4.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).
Paul tells us to not be “anxious” about anything, but if you are like many of us, you might say, “That’s easier said than done!” How are we to realistically obey this straightforward command? The answer is found in the rest of the passage.
We are told that instead of worry, we are to give everything over to God in “prayer”, “supplication” with “thanksgiving.” Each of these words has a specific emphasis that we need to consider.
The word “prayer” in Greek is an act of worship and devotion given over to God. It reminds us of Jesus’ teaching in “The Lord’s Prayer” to address God as “Our Father who art in heaven.” To offer our prayer to God means we understand that He is worthy of our devotion and worship because He is the Sovereign Creator and Ruler over the universe. It’s the idea that when we address God in our prayer, we are to have the biggest possible view of Him.
Secondly, we are told to offer Him our “supplication.” This means we are to give to Him our personal needs. We are to offer over to Him what is causing our anxiety. “Lord, I love you. I trust You. And because of that I am going to tell You exactly what is causing me to worry.” Supplication is the idea of laying all the cards on the table before God.
Thirdly, we are told we are to end our intercession to God with “thanksgiving.” It’s the idea that we are thanking Him in advance for what He is going to do with our “supplication.” If we know that God is big – that He is good and that He is powerful enough to meet our needs – and if we trust Him by telling Him what our needs are, then we can thank in advance for what He is going to do with our problems.
And when we interact with God in this way, in “prayer”, “supplication” and with “thanksgiving”, the Bible says His peace with overwhelm us and guard our hearts. God has a peace so overwhelming that we will not able to put it into words. This is a peace that is available only to Christians who trust in His goodness and power to such an extent that they allow His peace to overrule their anxieties.

So as we go through these uncertain days, let’s make sure we are giving room to God to handle our anxieties in such a way that His peace rules over our hearts and minds.